Bike lanes and bus lanes help non-motorists navigate through congested roadways with greater ease. Especially in highly urbanized areas, these special lanes help bikers and bus passengers travel toward their destinations without having to risk their safety on the roadways or have to weave through pedestrians on the sidewalk.
However, in many areas where bike and bus lanes are present, they are not differentiated sufficiently from the main roadway. This can lead to many safety risks for cyclists and bus passengers if a vehicle could potentially cross over the line.
We believe that cities and municipalities that offer bike lanes to their residents should follow some general best practices when adding or updating them. These include:
Determine the Types of Bike Lanes that Best Fits Your City’s Needs
Did you know there are more than one type of bike lane? Typically, they are created by coating a paved surface and then painting around the path to differentiate it from the roadway. Some varieties you might want to consider include:
Conventional Bike Lanes
These are designed to simply designate bike lanes that are driving parallel to motorists and buses. They act as an extension of the general roadway and help cyclists safely navigate city streets to reach their destination.
These types of lanes are most often used on one-way streets where you may want to install a two-way bike lane. These are colored green and will contain two lanes, each for cyclists traveling in opposite directions.
Bike lanes can also serve more use than just providing a dedicated pathway for cyclists. They can also be used to create extra space between the roadway and other parts of the street, such as parking spaces. A buffered bike lane should be colored green and placed between the roadway and the other zone that you wish to separate from the street.
A contra-flow bike lane goes against the flow of traffic, such as directing cyclists westward on a one-way street that only allows drivers to head east. Like some others mentioned above, a contra-flow bike lane should be colored green to differentiate it from the main roadway.
Cycle tracks are a type of bike lane used where there is no roadway traffic from motor vehicles.
Spot Treatments in Conflict Areas
Areas like intersections can prove tricky and potentially dangerous for cyclists. A spot treatment coating can mark-out a part of the road with bike lane paving conventions to provide a cyclist a safe place to stop while they wait to cross.
Bus lanes also help differentiate bus-only paths from the general roadway. They are most common in high-traffic areas around cities, surrounding suburbs, and often follow the official route that connects bus stops to one another. In most cases, these will be colored red to both separate them from the street and also create an added contrast with bike lanes if they are close to one another.
Bus lanes should also be marked with symbols and language that inform motorists that these spaces are reserved for busses only.
Some benefits of bus lanes include:
- Reduced chances of being stuck in traffic
- Drivers are aware of the roadway’s restrictions
- Bus lanes help remove these large vehicles from the general roadway, creating more space for motorists
- More efficient and timely bus transportation for city residents
Using Durable Pavement Markings
Pavement markings that designated bike lanes and separate them from the general roadway should be resistant to wear-and-tear from use and environmental factors like harsh weather. The longer they can retain vivid color and clear definition, the more visible they remain. This helps motorists know that they should not move into these zones.
Color Code Bike and Bus Lanes
Instead of matching the black asphalt, bike and bus lanes should be color coded differently. For example, standard paving conventions state that you should color your bike lanes green. This helps create a clear contrast between the street and the bike lane so that motorists do not accidentally cross the line and put cyclists’ safety at risk.
Hexagonal Pattern Coating
An excellent bike lane should be coated with a hexagonal pattern. By doing so, this creates greater friction to combat weather-related slickness and allows precipitation to drain away from the bike lane. This way, cyclists’ tires are always gripping the road to prevent common accidents.
Get More Vibrant, Durable, and Safer Bike Lanes with Endurablend
Investing in your bike lanes by using the right pavement surface coating material can help you better serve your city’s residents. Some tangible examples of this include longer color vibrancy, more wear-resistant surfaces, and greater safety for both cyclists and motorists.
At Pavement Surface Coatings, we are the proud developers of Endurablend polymer cement micro-overlay (PCMO). It is installed in a hexagonal pattern to help further increase cyclist safety to increase friction and irrigate precipitation away from the lane. When you use Endurablend, you are investing in a longer-lasting solution.
To learn more about how Endurablend products can improve the quality of bike and bus lanes in your own neighborhood, contact us anytime to speak with one of our team members.